When you’re shopping for a full-service mover, you’ll probably notice that moving companies call themselves one of two things: moving brokers or moving carriers. But they rarely explain what either of these terms means.
We think you should know exactly what you’re getting when you hire a mover, so we’ve broken them down for you.
Moving brokers, also called brokerages, are like travel agents for your move. They don’t own any moving trucks or hire moving staff. Instead, they coordinate your move with other companies. This process can make your move a little easier and cheaper since the broker manages all the logistics and gets quotes from multiple competing carriers.
However, a lower price isn’t guaranteed, and some brokers are reportedly pretty shady.
Moving carriers, on the other hand, own their own moving van fleets, hire in-house moving staff, and facilitate moves themselves. This business model is a bit more transparent since it guarantees your belongings will be shipped by the same company you selected for your move.
However, carriers can be more expensive than brokers, and they may require extra research and planning on your part.
Though the differences between these two models may seem obvious, the boundary isn’t always black and white. For example, some companies, like International Van Lines, are registered as both carriers and brokers. This allows them to change between the two roles depending on what a customer needs.
That’s the short answer. If you want a more detailed breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of working with either type of moving company, keep reading.